The Bakken oil boom has transformed North Dakota's economy. Not only does the state boast the lowest unemployment in the U.S. (2.6%, per the November 2013 Bureau of Labor statistics), North Dakota has the fastest growing economy in the nation. Much of the growth has come courtesy of the state's oil industry, which is now recovering upwards of a million barrels a day, making North Dakota the second largest oil producing state in the country, second only to Texas. The growth has been enabled by the application of hydraulic fracturing technology (fracking), which allows producers to draw previously difficult-to-recover crude from the Bakken formation, a subsurface rock formation that stretches 200,000 square miles, underlying parts of North Dakota, Montana, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. But the influx of oil money—and the arrival of migrant workers who operate the heavy equipment needed to recover the oil—has a dark side, which the contributors to Bakken Oil Field Fail of the Day seem to relish highlighting.
BOFFDs Facebook page—which as of this writing has more than 82,000 likes—is filled with photos of train derailments, overturned tractor-trailers, wrecked pickup trucks, smoke plumes, and rig blowouts. Readers also do a good bit of complaining about President Obama, the windy winter weather (“The wind never blows in the Bakken, said no one ever”), driving skills, and the local hotel rates (comparable to hotels in the heart of New York City). They also post links to news reports of crime, violence, and drug busts, and there’s a sprinkling of jokes about neighboring states. Example: “You know why North Dakota is so windy? Because Montana blows and Minnesota sucks.”
Regrettably, some posted comments are derogatory to women, hardly a surprise considering this commonly told joke: “Have you heard the one about North Dakota women? They say there's a pretty girl behind every tree—but good luck finding a tree.” Yet it was a female reader posted this hilarious, sexually suggestive photo: Snowman North Dakota style.
Fracking the Marcellus Shale